Texas' most powerful born-again extremist Rick Perry has joined forces with the SPLC-designated hate group American Family Association in order to kick off a twenty-four hour prayer-a-thon. The Lone Star State's chief executive, who has been dropping hints that he may seek the GOP presidential nomination, is calling on other Republican guvs to join him and the Texas Taliban for a "family values" hoedown to be held at Houston's Reliant Sports Arena on August 6. Perry insists that "there is hope for America, and we will find it on our knees." This isn't the first time Governor Big Hair has ordered "genu-whine patriots" to worship his concept of an angry, white, gun-totiong, homophobic Jesus.
Justin Elliott writes on Salon:
Governor Rick Perry raised some eyebrows recently when he officially declared three "Days of Prayer for Rain in the State of Texas," which has been plagued by drought. (The Lord is being unusally mulish. A majority of Texans still have seen no sign of rain.) But now Perry, these days a pundit-approved Possible Presidential Contender, is taking his advocacy for public prayer a step further -- and in a distinctly non-inclusive direction. Perry is the man behind a new conservative Christian event called "The Response: A call to prayer for a nation in crisis." It is a day of prayer and fasting to be held at Reliant Stadium in Houston in August. (I wonder if our out-and-proud lesbian major Annise Parker will be invited to this gay and immigrant bashing Holy Hootenanny.)
Over at Mother Jones, Tim Murphy applies the flea shampoo:
This shouldn't come as too much of a surprise from Perry, who just six weeks ago issued a proclamation calling on residents to pray for rain for 72 hours, in response to historic wildfires. It's also similar in nature to the Texas Restoration Project, his 2006 outreach effort to pastors like Rod Parsley, the Ohio evangelist who has said Islam must be destroyed. (Preacher Parsley is the self-righteous proselytizer who demands extra cash contributions from his flock by insisting that he is the victim of a "demonically inspired financial attack.") The Houston event is being funded by the American Family Association, a conservative Christian organization that's been classified as a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center for its incessant promotion of false, anti-gay propaganda.
The AFA's issues director, Bryan Fischer, has alleged that gays caused the Holocaust - and are planning on doing it again; that gays should be banned from holding public office; that homosexuality should be criminalized; that foreign Muslims should either be exterminated or forced to convert to Christianity; that American Muslims should be deported; that there should be a permanent ban on mosque construction in the United States; and that Muslims should be prohibited from serving in the armed forces. (And Tea Party diva Sarah Palin claimed that Obama palled around with terrorists. Christ on a cracker, Bryan Fischer's radicalism would make Iran's Ali Khamenei blush.)
This all sounds pretty extreme (and it is pretty extreme), but it's worth noting that Rick Perry believes some of that stuff too. He has repeatedly asserted that Texas' homosexual conduct statute, which criminalized gay sex, was a good law that should not have overturned by the Supreme Court. (Understand what our governor is actually saying: He believes that my partner of 30 years and I should be arrested for expressing intimacy in the privacy of our home. Adding further insult, in the 2010 gubernatorial race my fellow Texans reelected Perry by a landslide.)
In this state of my birth, this place I still love and call home, religious fanaticism has taken hold like an aggressive cancer. It hasn't replaced the deep-seated racism that dwells in the hearts of conservatives here; it has merely augmented it. In some rural areas of the state, the 'N' word gets as much use as the 'F' word. Slurs aimed at Latinos are too numerous to mention. I don't expect to see Change showing its face east of the Rio Grande River, not in my lifetime. Progressivism? Cows will fly. After decades of artful redistricting, voting minorities are now realizing that any chance of wresting state government from the meaty paws of far right Republicans is, well, Gone with the Wind.
UPDATE: Just so nobody gits no wrongheaded i-dears about the "morals" of our pistol-packin' preacher-in-chief, Rick Perry is letting voters know that he is PROUD to stand beside the AFA bigots.